by Steven Ertelt
January 11, 2007
Columbia, SC (LifeNews.com) — A bill filed in the South Carolina state legislature would allow women considering an abortion the opportunity to view an ultrasound of their unborn child before having an abortion. Ultrasound viewing have proven effective in changing the minds of women contemplating an abortion.
State Sen. Kevin Bryant, a Republican, is the prime sponsor of the legislation, SB 84, that calls on abortion businesses to use an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of the unborn child and to review the ultrasound pictures with the mother.
“I’ve always been pro-life, so I thought, let’s do something that might reduce abortions since changing the law in the near future doesn’t look possible,” Sen. Bryant told the Anderson Independent Mail newspaper.
He said he expected pro-abortion groups to oppose the bill by claiming it interferes with legalized abortion.
The legislation has been referred to the Medical Affairs Committee and Sen. Bryant says he has both Republicans and Democrats who have said they will support the legislation.
Christopher Hollis, vice president for governmental and political affairs at Planned Parenthood Health Systems, told the newspaper he hasn’t reviewed the bill.
Representatives of local pregnancy centers told the Anderson newspaper they already offer free ultrasound viewing to women who visit them.
Lenna Neill, CEO of Piedmont Women’s Center, said ultrasounds are effective because so many pregnant women who see them decide to keep their baby.
“We believe we can help them both (baby and mother), but we really want to minister to the woman who finds herself in a crisis because of fear and lack of information,” Neill said. “I think it would be a wonderful expression of compassion to offer this valuable piece of information. Decisions often are made in haste without factual information.”
Statistics from Focus on the Family show that 84 percent of women decide against an abortion after seeing an ultrasound of their baby.
Kim Conroy, is the sanctity of life director for the pro-family group and says this service is needed and is benefiting women.
"Women deserve factual information regarding their pregnancy," she explained in a press statement provided to LifeNews.com.
"There are significant health risks with abortion, and at the very least they have a right to know the truth regarding this risky procedure from professionals who will not benefit financially from their decision. They also need to know there are positive alternatives for them and their babies," she added.
Her group has helped more than 200 pregnancy centers get ultrasound machines and estimates it has prevented over 6,300 abortions.